Defense Department officials are scrambling to call governors and asking whether they have any more National Guard troops they can send to Washington to help protect the Capitol and the city.
A defense official familiar with the discussions says law enforcement leaders and other authorities have now determined that they’ll need about 25,000 National Guard troops. And they say that number could still grow.
As of Friday morning, officials had commitments from states for close to 22,000 members of the Guard. That’s according to the official, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In recent days, defense and military leaders have said they understand that states are also facing their own looming protests and the first priority of the governors is to protect their own capitals.
The number of Guard officials are seeking to help protect the District of Columbia in the run-up to Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden has increased almost daily.
Defense and law enforcement authorities have been revising the numbers as they go through rehearsals and other drills to determine how many and where they need the Guard reinforcements to help lock down Washington.
—Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPEACHMENT AND THE FALLOUT FROM THE JAN. 6 RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL:
President Donald Trump is facing an impeachment trial in the Senate that could begin on Jan. 20, the day Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as America’s 46th president. Trump was impeached on Wednesday, one week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and the Capitol became the target of a deadly siege. The FBI is warning that armed protests by violent Trump supporters are being planned in all 50 state capitals as well as in Washington.
Justice Department watchdog opens probe of response to riot
Capitol rioters included highly trained ex-military and cops
Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers hope to ‘finish the job’
Amid cacophony since Capitol siege, key officer stays silent
GOP senators in spotlight as second impeachment trial looms
Trump impeachment trial to focus on his attacks on election
Impeachment complicates the early days of Biden’s presidency
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog says it will investigate how the department and its agencies prepared for and responded to last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.
The investigation by the inspector general’s office will examine whether information was appropriately shared by the Justice Department to other law enforcement agencies about the potential for violence.
The inspector general said it “also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures” that hampered preparation and response to the events.
The review is one of multiple ones launched by inspectors general, including at the departments of Homeland Security and Defense and at the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Police.
The initiation of the review signals concern among the watchdogs that the preparations for, and response to, the breach of the Capitol by loyalists of President Donald Trump was lacking.